Five Essential Items You Need to Refinish an Old Wide Board Floor

Wide board flooring is becoming more and more popular, and if you buy an old home that already has wide board flooring, you may be able to refinish it and keep it. In order to be successful, however, you need the right supplies. Here are five essential items that can help you:

1. Knee Pads

Don't start refinishing your wide board floor until you have crawled around and closely assessed it for damage. Look at the edges of the boards. If they are full of cracks, the planks have likely been over-sanded and won't be able to handle any more refinishing without breaking completely.

Keep in mind however, if only a few boards look too worn to withstand sanding, you can simply replace those worn boards.

You don't necessarily need to wear knee pads when crawling around the floor, but they can make the experience more comfortable.

2. Drum Sander

To breathe new life into your old wide board flooring, you need a drum sander. That essential tool can help you remove adhesive from old carpeting, and it can help level out boards that are cupped or curled -- simply sand diagonally to eliminate that effect.

If you are only sanding to remove old varnish, you don't necessarily have to use a drum sander. Instead, you can sand it by hand.

3. Putty Knife

Unfortunately, over time, wide board flooring can develop gaps or spaces between the boards, and debris can build up in these spaces. You can use a vacuum with a hose attachment to remove loose debris, but for anything that is stuck, you need to pry it out with a putty knife. A painter's tool or a screwdriver can also work well.

4. Rope and Wood Stain

To fill the gaps between the wide boards on your floor, invest in some heavy duty braided rope. Use wood stain to make the rope look the same colour as the floor, and then, push the rope into the gaps between the planks also using your putty knife or similar tool.

5. Oil Finish

Once you have sanded your wide board wood floor, replaced broken planks and filled gaps, you are ready to add the finish to your floor. For new wood floors, polyurethane finish is often the most popular choice, but this finish typically sits on top of the floorboards, and its shine can detract from the antique look of your floor.

Instead, consider using a penetrating wax finish for your floor. Old dry wide board flooring absorbs the wax, and it helps moisten this potentially dry and brittle flooring while also giving it a protective layer.

For more tips and ideas on refinishing old wide board flooring or for tips on buying new wide board flooring, contact a flooring specialist.